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Mattia Binotto, Ferrari chief
- Ferrari looked like they would be in the title race at the start of the season
- However, Max Verstappen dominated and leads Charles Leclerc with 116 points
- The Scuderia have helped Red Bull’s cause in a season full of mistakes
- Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto has responded to chairman’s comments
Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto has admitted “changes” are needed if they are to win titles again after being knocked out of the fray this season due to a series of mistakes.
The Italian team has not won a drivers championship since 2007, but appeared to be in the running after Charles Leclerc won two of the first three races of the season.
Since then, Max Verstappen has been able to clear 116 points at the top of the standings, with reliability issues, strategic mistakes and Leclerc crashing out of the lead at the French Grand Prix but handing the Dutchman his second consecutive title.
Max Verstappen (right) win in the Italian GP extends his lead over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc (left) to 116 points – and the Dutchman could win the title at the next race in Singapore
Ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, Ferrari chairman John Elkann said he had “great confidence” in Binotto, but also emphasized that he was “not satisfied” with their season.
In response to the comments, Binotto told air sports: “We don’t need to change people, but we definitely need to change some things.
‘The way we communicate, the way we arrive at the process of making our decisions… changes are needed.
‘Adding value may be necessary, adding people too. But changing people is not a path I want to take, it’s an old way of dealing with problems.’
A catalog of mechanical issues, strategic mistakes and Leclerc’s crash in France essentially handed Verstappen the title
Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto (left) has stated changes are needed if Ferrari is to win titles
On areas that needed improvement, he said: ‘The reliability – because the reliability has cost us at least a couple of wins and to win championships you have to be reliable. Race management, strategy and pit stops need improvement.
“I think you can always make mistakes during the race weekend. I think being perfect is almost impossible, you have to make decisions about the pit wall, but we have to be the best.”
Verstappen could win his second championship at the next race in Singapore, although Leclerc could still have been in the race if not many mistakes had been made.
Leclerc suffered engine failure while leading races in Spain and Azerbaijan and crashed into the front at the French Grand Prix.
The Monegasque driver also lost potential race wins at Monaco, Silverstone and Hungary due to huge strategic mistakes by the Scuderia.
Chairman John Elkann (pictured) said he was ‘not happy’ with how Ferrari’s season has gone
Team-mate Carlos Sainz, who is 32 points behind Leclerc, has withdrawn from four races and has also faced strategic mistakes all season.
Ferrari’s inconsistency has given Mercedes the chance to potentially finish second in the Constructors’ Championship this season. Mercedes is 35 points behind Ferrari and has occasionally been faster in recent races by closing the gap with the two best teams.
Ahead of the Italian GP, where Leclerc finished second to Verstappen, Ferrari chairman Elkann told Gazzetta dello Sport: “We have great confidence in Mattia Binotto and appreciate everything he and all our engineers have done.
Red Bull has won 12 races this season compared to Ferrari who have only had four wins
“Putting our trust in Binotto and his team was the right decision and it paid off. Thanks to them we are competitive and we are winning again. But I am not satisfied because I think there is always room for improvement.
“We have seen that there are still too many mistakes made when it comes to reliability, driving and strategy.
“That’s why I believe Ferrari will win the Constructors’ and Drivers’ titles again before 2026, with Charles Leclerc on pole position.”